2001-2003: Nyaka Primary Opening
The Nyaka Aids Orphans Project (NAOP) was founded in 2001 by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in south-western Uganda. It began in the Nyaka Primary School, a two room school on a small plot of land. The school officially opened in 2003 to 55 students, all HIV/AIDS orphans.
2004: Nyaka Primary Grows
As the students at Nyaka Primary School Increased, NAOP built additional classrooms to accommodate them. All students enrolled at Nyaka Primary School are provided with free tuition, school supplies, uniforms, and shoes. Nyaka Primary School teaches nursery through Primary 7, the equivalent of preschool through elementary school.
2005: Clean Water: Nyaka
The gravity-fed clean water system was built to provide clean water to Nyakagyezi. It serves 17,500 people in the surrounding community. Tap systems were placed throughout the community, meaning that women and girls no longer have to walk for miles to gather water, missing school and risking assault, a previously common occurrence.
2006: The Nutrition Program
The nutrition program began after teachers noticed that students were falling asleep in class due to walking miles to and from school. Students are fed two nutrition meals every day. Milk, porridge, and bread is served for breakfast. Lunch consists of beans, meat or protein, posho, corn, mash, rice, matooke, and sweet potatoes.
2007: The Grandmother Program
Grandmothers who had few resources to raise HIV/AIDS orphans so Nyaka formed the Grandmother Program. It started with 51 Granny Groups, consisted of 25-70 grandmothers each. Grandmothers gave each other peer support, and Nyaka began providing them with micro-finance loans and training in budgeting, leadership, agriculture, and child rearing. There are now 98 Granny Groups empowering 7,301 Grannies.
2008: First Nyaka Graduation
The Pioneer class of Nyaka Primary School graduated from primary school in 2008. There were 22 graduates, 21 of whom passed their national exams to attend secondary or vocational school. These students would be sponsored to attend secondary and vocational schools in the region.
2008: Kutamba Primary School
A young boy named Hilary walked over 50 miles by himself after hearing there was a school where HIV/AIDS orphans could attend for free. NAOP decided to build Kutamba Primary School in his community. In 2007, students attended a temporary school until Kutamba officially opened in 2009. Just as with Nyaka, Kutamba was built over several years.
2009: Community Library
Construction on the Blue Lupin Community Library started in 2009. After completion in 2010, the library would provide access to newspapers, literature, computers, solar powered Wi-Fi, and a safe place for thousands of students and community members. The library also has office space for Nyaka Staff members and a meeting room for trainings.
2009: The Desire Farm
Desire Farm is 10 acres and grows crops, including maize, kale, okra, onions, carrots, cabbage, beans, and bananas. Five cows, chickens, and croilers also provide milk and eggs. Students also learn seeding, transplanting, grafting, fertilizing, and weeding techniques from Desire Farm. For a small fee, local farmers can also come to Desire Farm and learn farming techniques as well.
2011: Health Clinic
The Mummy Drayton School Clinic was completed in 2011. It was built to provide basic healthcare services, HIV/AIDS testing, immunizations, and medicine to students, grandmothers, and community members. Dental, chiropractic, and other health services are sometimes also conducted by volunteers who are visiting Nyaka.
2012: First Kutamba Graduation
The 29 students in Kutamba Primary School’s pioneer class graduated in 2012. Sheila was so excited, she danced all the way to the ceremony. They joined 30 Nyaka Primary School graduates and 15 Secondary School graduates.
2012: Clean Water Kutamba
The gravity-fed clean water system was installed for Kutamba Primary School and the surrounding community. 5,000 people gained access to clean water through the water system taps. Without clean water, children are at risk of serious illness, from diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Amebic Dysentery, or even death.
2013: Nyaka Vocational Secondary School Groundbreaking
The Nyaka Vocational Secondary School groundbreaking took place July 2013. Founder Twesigye Jackson Kaguri (pictured) planted a tree in the honor of the event.
2014: First High School Graduation
The first class of NAOP students graduated from high school December 2014. Fourteen students received their high school diplomas. Twelve of these students have applied to universities to continue their education.
2015: Nyaka Vocational Secondary School Opens
The Nyaka Vocational Secondary School opened on February 9, 2015 to fifty students who graduated from Nyaka and Kutamba Primary Schools now have a secondary school of their own to attend. Students who attend NVSS will have more guidance, consistent positive influences, and extra support that they need throughout their secondary education.
2016: Nyaka Vocational Secondary School Grows
The Nyaka Vocational Secondary School grew to educate over 160 students. Six out of the eight planned buildings were opened and operational, including the Administration Building, Girls Dormitory, Boys Dormitory, Biology and Computer Labs, and the Carpentry, Brick Laying, Mechanical, and Metal Workshops.
2018 EDJA JOINS NYAKA
EDJA Foundation was started by Tabitha Mpamira-Kaguri in 2015 to combat sexual assault and domestic violence in Southwest Uganda. Having worked closely together since EDJA’s creation, the two organizations merged in 2018 to strengthen capacity and help more victims become victors. They are supporting over 60 victors, and have secured convictions of 27 perpetrators.